Christian Porter reveals part of legal fees paid by blind trust with funds from unknown source

By Paul Karp, originally published in the Guardian, 14 September 2021. Christian Porter has revealed that part of his defamation legal fees were paid by a blind trust with funds from an unknown source. The industry and science minister updated his register of interests on Monday, revealing that the Legal Services Trust had paid part… Read More

Calls grow for Victorian Parliament to move online as COVID-19 lockdown drags on

By Bridget Rollason, originally published on ABC News 14 September 2021. The Victorian government has had legal advice for more than a year that State Parliament can sit online, but hasn’t acted on it. Key points: Legal advice has found Victoria’s Parliament can function online Two sitting weeks have been suspended to comply with COVID-19 restrictions The… Read More

‘Ministers have too much control’: $10b in taxpayer funds put at risk

By David Crowe, originally published in the Sydney Morning Herald 3rd August 2021. Federal funds are being put at risk in schemes handing out more than $10 billion with inadequate checks on ministerial power, according to a new study of programs ranging from job projects to commuter car parks. At least eight schemes have fallen… Read More

Liberal party donor’s revenue from uncontested contracts for offshore processing rises to $1.5bn

By Ben Doherty and Christopher Knaus, originally published in the Guardian 21st July 2021. Canstruct International, the Brisbane company and Liberal party donor running Australia’s offshore processing regime on Nauru, has won another uncontested contract extension – $180m over six months – bringing its total revenue from island contracts over the past five years to… Read More

Regulations governing conduct of Australia’s federal MPs are weakest of comparable nations, study finds

By Christopher Knaus, originally published in the Guardian 12th July 2021. The failure to implement a parliamentary code of conduct has made Australia’s regulation of federal politicians’ conduct the weakest among comparable nations, research has found. Unlike the United Kingdom and Canada, Australia lacks any enforceable code governing the behaviour of MPs, and unlike New… Read More

Coalition’s proposed anti-corruption commission would have no power to investigate recent controversies

By Christopher Knaus, originally published in the Guardian 9th July 2021. The Coalition’s proposed federal anti-corruption body would have no power to investigate dozens of integrity, expense and pork-barrelling controversiesthat havecome to light in recent years, the Guardian has found. An analysis of 40 political controversies, conducted jointly by Guardian Australia and the Centre for… Read More

Opposition demands answers over “parking rorts”

Originally published on ABC 7.30 Report, 29th June 2021. SCOTT MORRISON, PRIME MINISTER: Last week, David and I together with Alan Tudge, outlined our plan, serious plan, to manage population growth across Australia and a key component of that plan was the urban congestion-busting fund. ELIAS CLURE, REPORTER: Seven weeks out from the last election,… Read More

Government ducked scrutiny on state of emergency powers, integrity group says

By Michael Fowler, originally published in the Age, 23rd June 2021. The Victorian government avoided scrutiny on its wide-reaching state of emergency powers last year through a technicality, an independent group of lawyers has found. As the Andrews government privately negotiates specific pandemic laws to permanently replace the state of emergency when it expires in… Read More

Commonwealth Integrity Commission has ‘serious deficiencies’: Judges, police and lawyers

By David Crowe, originally published in the Sydney Morning Herald 25th May 2021. A federal pledge to crack down on corruption is struggling to gain support from police and legal experts who believe the draft plan is too weak to catch politicians and public servants who break the law. Corruption experts are urging the government… Read More

Zero, zlich, nada: the saddest number in the budget was the ‘0’ for government integrity

By Anthony Whealy, originally published in the Sydney Morning Herald on 19th May 2021. The budget is now well and truly out and about. At face value, it looks attractive and is likely to succeed as a political lever to the government’s continuation in power: childcare, aged care, women’s protections. The overall theme, “recovery budget”,… Read More